Has the "everybody gets a trophy" culture contaminated the Pro Football Hall of Fame voting process? Deion Sander believes so.
"I'm just saying what some of y'all are thinking," Deion Sanders noted to his entourage. Does the Pro Football Hall of Fame belong to the elite of the elite any longer? Has the process of selecting the men who changed the game of football become watered down with players who were average to excellent but not outstanding?
Deion Sanders stated his hypothesis years ago. He recently returned to discuss the matter in a video taken in his Jackson State office with Well Off Media and distinguished sportswriter Jean-Jacques Taylor present.
IS IT A FREE FOR ALL?
Coach Prime has said it before, the Pro Football Hall of Fame is for past players who have "changed the game." They are unique and special players whose playing days left an undeniable imprint on the sport of professional football.
Sanders achieved induction into the Pro Football Hall of Fame during his first year of eligibility in Aug. 2011. He's earned the right to question recent inductions.
The NFL legend didn't point out which players he's questioning that busts reside in Canton, but he would like his statue moved to a new place in the Hall. "Put my head where it's supposed to be. My head don't suppose to be by them," Sanders exclaimed.
"The Hall of Fame ain't the Hall of Fame no more," Coach Sanders remarked. "I love it. I respect it. I admire it. I think all the guys who are inducted definitely are deserving. But it needs to be a different-color jacket. My jacket gotta be a different color," as Sanders disapprovingly shakes his head. It needs to be a starting eleven [former players]. "It needs to be an upper room. My head [bust] don't belong with some of these other heads that's in the Hall of Fame."
In February 2020, Sanders said to podcast host Dan Patrick, "every Tom, Dick, and Harry, they're a Hall of Famer. They let everybody in this thing. It's not exclusive anymore, and I don't like it."
For the most part, the voting is subjective. The difficulty for media is to vote past players into Canton who aren't about just being noteworthy, but elite. Let's be honest, players were overlooked in the past because former voters discriminated against players for several reasons? Yes. It could have been because of a player's ethnicity, poor reputation, run-ins with media or law, or even a publicized disgraceful event.
Otis Taylor's recent exclusion from the Hall of Fame has been debated as an injustice. Without his production, his Hall of Fame head coach, Hank Stram, and quarterback Len Dawson wouldn't have golden busts. Yet, Taylor's candidacy is tabled and will no longer be considered by the voters.
To Deion Sanders' credit, a different wing of the Canton should be for the select former players. For now, the voting seems to have succumbed to today's society's "everybody gets a trophy" culture. Will it change?
We shall see.